Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Back to our regularly scheduled program

A week or so ago we headed out to pick up a Christmas tree.  We almost didn't buy one at all because Ollie is still at the age where Christmas trees pose a danger, and I drew a giant tree on a canvas in our living room so it feels festive enough, but it just didn't feel like Christmas without a real tree so we ventured out to find one.

Friends recommended Baum's Christmas Trees (1650 N. 1250 W.), a family owned business located right in their yard, and the trees were so fresh and cheap! (And I didn't know they still sold flocked trees like that. I haven't seen one in ages)
It was so fun walking around and we will absolutely buy our tree there next year.

This year, however, we headed to a different lot because Creed spotted some tiny trees on an earlier drive by and fell in love, and a tiny tree seemed like a good idea to us when keeping Ollie in mind so everyone was happy (the tiny tree actually cost about as much as a 6 ft tree at Baum's, which made me laugh, but they didn't have any that small at Baum's)

 So we found the tree that was just right for us this year.

 And as if the day wasn't filled with enough cheer, we ran into this site on our way.
 That's right, a race with hundreds of Santa.  It was awesome! We drove around the block and got stuck in traffic and it was totally worth it to watch the Santas for a few more minutes.
 Lighting and decorating the tiny tree was so easy that I might be tempted to buy a tiny tree every year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

All is Well

Thank you Secrets of a Stylist for the idea to make this map in our living room a little more festive!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support!  We've felt so much love these past few days and I'm happy to report, Ollie is back to his old cheerful self.

It turns out Ollie has Ketotic Hypoglycemia, which means that his liver doesn't fully function and provide him with the glucose he needs between meals so if his blood sugar level gets too low, his body goes into starvation mode and shuts down while he starts converting any fat he has stored, which was why he seemed comatose and also explains why he is so small so we'll be feeding him lots of small meals and loading him with protein before bed, and then we may have just a few of these episodes to deal with every year.  In extreme cases, some kids have to have NG tubes while they sleep, but we're hoping it doesn't come to that.  The good news is that he should outgrow it by the time he's five or six.  At any rate, his blood sugar can get so low it can cause seizures, but it's a totally different kind of seizure then he normally has so the two are completely unrelated, and it might just be the anti-seizure medication he was already on kept him from having seizures when we couldn't wake him up.  Crazy right?
In the meantime, we're supposed to do what we can to help this little guy build some fat up in his system.  My friend Kersten's dad just happens to be a pediatric endocrinologist who helped talk us through everything going on with Ollie and provided some advice to help him gain weight (Ollie is now almost up the the 50th percentile in height, but has fallen to the 3rd in weight and he can't keep a pair of pants on to save his life).  A few suggested changes for Ollie's diet: adding half and half to his cereal in the morning, adding melted cheese anytime he's eating vegetables, keeping brown gravy on hand to add to any meat that we can get him to eat, never giving him water to drink, and adding carnation instant breakfast to his whole milk which he will continue to drink well after the normally recommended age 2 cutoff.  

Things are going to be interesting around here, but this was actually the best possible cause of his low blood sugar that we could hope for and we're feeling pretty happy about the news.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

We pause this program for a message

We're in the midst of embracing this holiday season around here, and I have so many fun things to share with you, but today all that is on my mind is this little guy.  Let's talk about how happy and friendly he all the time.
 And how adventurous he is.  He can NEVER be out of sight.  This week I told Larry that I needed to make a phone call and left him playing with the boys.  He had to answer a page and the next thing I know, I hear the sound of Larry's electric clippers in the bathroom and catch Ollie's hand just as he begins to shave his own head.
 What  fickle eater he is.  He doesn't have favorites and you never know if he will hate something he loved the day before. He would much rather survive on milk.
 How he still takes his little blanket everywhere he goes and cannot sleep without it.  When you pick him up, he will often pat your shoulder and explain, "Blanket!" reminding you to put in on your shoulder so he can lay on it and nestle his little forehead up against your neck.
 How he is always watching Creed, just like the the photo below, where he's watching Creed while snacking on a half eaten apple he picked up off the ground (Creed's friend Lydia had just dropped it, and I failed to snatch it from Ollie before the damage was already done. Yuck)
 The way he giggles with glee when you put him in a swing and begs to swing the rest of the day away.
 The way he grabs my phone at every chance and has filled it with funny self-portraits. It's pretty amazing how well he can use it.
 The way he adores Mickey Mouse and Elmo, and points to the computer, begging to watch Youtube clips of them, and he's so happy, how can you not loves those annoying squeaky voices?
 The way his seizures exhaust all of us, but most especially him.
The way he didn't wake up today.

Which sent us on yet another excruciating ER journey with him.  It has happened once before, but it was no less terrifying today, in fact, it was worse because it lasted longer.  To see him laying with his eyes open, not responding to anything, not moving, not speaking strikes a terror in me that I cannot begin to explain.  I spent hours wondering what I could have done wrong and feeling like I failed him some way.

The test results came back slowly one by one, each normal result leaving us a little more baffled and feeling a little more helpless until, finally, we got an answer, or at least a symptom; extremely low blood sugar.  Easy to temporarily fix, but very scary as we are now left to consider the possible causes.  The nightmares are cycling in my mind: hormone and pituitary gland problems, maybe.  A tumor secreting extra insulin, possibly.  Something in his brain . . . I try to remind myself, that it could all be nothing, right?

The ER doctor has probably been practicing longer than I have been alive and he has never seen a patient with provoked seizures like Ollie.  He said it makes him a zebra among horses.  This new problem seems to be unrelated so he said it makes him something like a rare subspecies of zebra.  The whole conversation I kept losing focus and thinking about how zebras are Ollie's favorite animal and how we just got him a new Christmas book about Ollie the Zebra.

So now we will head in for more testing and we will play the waiting game, and I stop trying to imagine the what ifs, and focus on how grateful I am to have Ollie the zebra in my life, walking and talking again. And I feel grateful to look around me to see Christmas everywhere, a reminder of another baby who lived at another time and provides much needed hope and peace.